I’d say the hardest months of the year are probably January and February. When the winter seems like it has lasted forever and the excitement of the festive season has passed. But October can be a sneaky month too. It creeps up on you. All of a sudden you realise that now September has closed its doors, the warm summer weather is officially behind us.
October is definitely an adjustment. And perhaps we don’t realise that mentally we might be experiencing a bit of a slump. Halloween, bonfire night and those festive evenings curled up on the sofa next to a freshly decorated Christmas tree haven’t quite arrived yet.
It’s now that the days get darker and we lose sunlight by later afternoon. The ground beneath our feet starts to feel sodden and muddy when it was fresh, green and dry just a few weeks ago. There are more rainy days and the weather just seems so much more ‘dull’ compared to summer. Yes folks, it is possible to get seasonal depression and anxiety in autumn. And I’m talking about more than just the feeling of ‘where the hell did summer go?’ and ‘did we even get a summer?’.
You start spending a lot less time outside because it’s not quite as inviting outdoors, and you miss the fresh air. Hello autumn blues. This is a time of year when people can struggle a little mentally with the change of seasons. But despite all these things, Autumn time can be absolutely stunning as the trees transform into a beautiful combination of warm colours. And there are plenty of things you can do to lift your mood.
If you want to try and celebrate this time of year, rather than sit grumpily on the sofa complaining about how dull an dreary it is then I’ve got some ideas for you. Here are some ways you can pick up your spirits as Autumn sets in.
Brighten your home with autumnal flowers
Photo by Rubén Bagüés
Nip to your local florist or go out hunting for beautiful October blooms in your garden. You never know what you might find. A vase full of seasonal blooms will lift your spirits and create a seasonal vibe around the house. Choose red, orange and jewel colour flowers as well as plenty of rich dark green leaves.
Book tickets for fun autumn events you can look forward to
Photo by Marius Ciocirlan
You know what makes the end of September and October more fun? Going to local events like bonfires, farm shows and themed evenings like wine and food nights. Doing all this stuff helps you get into the seasonal spirit and keeps you occupied on days where you would have just been sat around wondering where the hell the sun’s gone.
Get outdoors and embrace the change of seasons
Photo by Johannes Plenio
Yes, it’s getting colder. You might get caught in the occasional rain shower, but that doesn’t mean you should hibernate inside as soon as the 1st of October comes around. If you enjoy walking outdoors, spend more time outside rather than less. We all tend to be a bit less active as the colder months set in and a few thousand more steps per day certainly won’t do any harm. Getting out and about amongst nature and greenery is a sure-fire way to boost your mood and wellbeing.
Start to enjoy spiced, warm drinks
Photo by Rebecca Cairns
One of the more enjoyable things about autumn and winter is the change in the drinks menu at coffee shops. Swap your summer iced cooler for a cinnamon-infused late or orange flavoured decadent hot chocolate. Ain’t nothin better than a hot chocolate with all the trimmings on a drizzly, cold, uninspiring day. Extra cream and marshmallows, please.
Add warmer tones throughout your house
We’ve touched on flowers, but what about home decor. This just might be the perfect time of year to get going on that DIY project you’ve been putting off. Now the weather isn’t the best, you may as well spend your time inside doing something fun and proactive like painting a wall, choosing new accessories or transforming an entire room. Swap pastel shades for warmer tones and stock up on candles and accessories that reflect the change of seasons. For example ginger, pumpkin and cinnamon scented candles and diffusers.
Cook yourself some hearty seasonal meals
Oh yes, there’s nothing better than a warming winter meal to lift your spirits. Autumn slow-cooked stews, tasty pies and best of all, we’re officially back into roast dinner season. So fire up that oven and treat yourself to a proper homemade roast with all the trimmings. I also find cooking very therapeutic and the creativity involved helps boost my mood. It’s goodbye to the meaty barbeque and hello cosy winter meals by the log fire.
Make your home feel cosy
Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash
If your home is still in summer mode, it can feel a bit bleak and cold when autumn hits. It needs a few warming touches to help you settle into the colder weather. Stock up on fluffy cushions and blankets so you can curl up on the sofa and watch a gripping TV series when it’s particularly gross outside.
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
Lastly, lighting. I think perhaps the hardest part about transitioning into the colder seasons isn’t actually the cold. You can wrap up warm and get toasty in your winter outfits (hello fluffy gilet and winter boots), but it’s the dull lighting that really darkens our mood. All of a sudden as the afternoon strikes, we’re hit with a depressing grey light. And waking up in the morning when it’s still dark sucks. But you can combat this by having some decent lighting around your home. Invest in a few smartly placed lamps to add an extra injection of light when you need it. Set up a few delicious autumn smelling candles around your home and if you’ve got a fireplace, it’s time to take advantage of that luxury.